11th annual rock.paper.sistahz festival of word, sound and performance
WHAT: Play NiCe, 10 plays over 3 nights!
WHEN: May 8 to 10 @ 8PM
WHERE: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St. | Ellington’s Café, 805 St. Clair Ave. W.
INFORMATION: 416-533-1500 or visit bcurrent.ca
For full festival schedule and artist bios visit:
Tuesday, May 8 at 8PM
Written & performed by Les Héritières de Toto B. aka Djennie Laguerre and Carline Zamar
Directed by Guy Mignault (Artistic Director of Théâtre Français de Toronto)
Performed en français.
Synopsis: Espoir means “hope” in French. For three women, their personal struggles and sacrifices differ but their connection to Haiti unite them:
A Haitian woman who has never left Haiti,
A Haitian-Canadian woman who returns to Haiti, and
A Canadian woman of Haitian descent who has never been to Haiti.
Djennie Laguerre – co-playwright
Djennie is a graduate of The Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting, and the University of Ottawa in Theatre and French Literature. Theatre credits include: Rendez-vous Lackay (Théâtre Français de Toronto/ MAI / SummerWorks), Des fraises en janvier (Théâtre Français de Toronto), Seventeen (Anonymous) Women (Infintheatre), Les Contes Urbains De Toronto and GRIMGRIM (Théâtre Français de Toronto), and Rez Sisters (Factory Theatre). Film/TV credits include: Mini TFO/TVO, and Flashpoint. Djennie is a member of the collective creation Les Héritières de Toto B. and the Krik Krak Collective. She was the recipient of the SummerWorks Spotlight Award 2008 for Rendez-vous with Home (in English), and is a Teaching Artist for the Ontario Arts Council.
Written & performed by Naomi Abiola
Synopsis: Celia has seven children and chooses to view them all as precious. Written in narrative prose and poetry, this monodrama wants to unravel the many misconceptions presented to us as women, and beckons to reveal that we cannot find our own heaven until we learn to love ourselves.
Naomi Abiola – Playwright
Naomi is Tobago’s leading raconteur and well sought after MC on the island. An actor, poet, teacher, and improvisational storyteller, she burst onto the oral traditions and spoken word scene after winning Tobago Scouting for Talent in 2007, and since 2006 has been the resident MC for the only Female calypso tent in the Caribbean: Divas Calypso Cabaret. Representing Trinidad and Tobago at the 2008 Performing Arts Olympics in Hollywood, Abiola earned a gold medal, and she was voted the best calypso tent MC for the 2011 Trinidad carnival season. When not on stage, Naomi teaches drama at the Mason Hall Secondary School in Tobago.
Six and Eight
Written by Roselyn Kelada-Sedra | Directed by Taylor Marie Graham
Synopsis: Watch as Christian and Sadiyah attempt to communicate via Shakespeare, dance, emails, phone calls and even good old fashioned conversation. In the end, what counts for more: the intended message or the communication received?
Choreographed by Ashleigh Powell, Sound Designed by Alex Cannon
Featuring Adam Bradley and Roselyn Kelada-Sedra
Roselyn Kelada-Sedra – Playwright/Actor
Roselyn began as a theatre-loving journalist, her work has being published in
national magazines, newspapers, websites and TV News. In theatre, she has written and performed monologues and contributed to the collaborative creation of Mother Courage Revisited: Themes of Women and War in the 21st Century. As an actor, Roselyn studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Cindy Tanas Studio, and Equity Showcase Theatre. Some of her favourite moments on stage include: chaperoning Pyramus and Thisbe as Wall in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, getting de-atomized in Unusuality, and bustin’ out into Tupac verses in Eating Pomegranates Naked. Roselyn is a b current rAiz’n Ensemble member.
Taylor Marie Graham – Director/Producer
A graduate of York University’s Theatre Program, Taylor works as a writer, director, researcher, and producer. She was a librettist for Tapestry New Opera Works’ Opera Briefs and their Opera To Go series. The Virgin Charlie produced as part of Tapestry’s Opera To Go was Dora nominated for Best New Opera / Musical in 2009. Currently, Taylor is directing, co-writing, and the co-executive producer of Late Night with Matty D on Rogers TV. She is a member of Steady State Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and Steady State will mount her play Punch and Breathe in June 2012. Recent directing credits include Orpha and Beatrice (New Ideas Festival 2012), and Zocalo Toronto’s The Weeping Salsa (Theatre Centre, 2009).
Wednesday, May 9 at 8PM
Written & performed by Navneet Rai
Synopsis: Gurjinder desperately fears getting older. So she seeks love and success through living in a fantasy world of fame, fortune and false realities. She is determined to make her childhood dream of being a movie star come true.
Navneet Rai – Playwright
Navneet is a b current 2007-2010 rAiz’n Ensemble graduate, having collectively created and mounted different works while part of the Ensemble including The Beauty Project for rock.paper.sistashz 9 and the Waves Festival.
Her Good Man
Written by Teneile Warren
Collectively created by the rAiz’n Ensemble | Directed by Djennie Laguerre.
Synopsis: Why are we all so damn nice in Canada?
Nice questions the way we talk to each other day to day and what this reveals or conceals.
Creator-performers: Najla Edwards, Roselyn Kelada-Sedra, Aracely Reyes, Angelique Lazarus, Qwyn Alexis Charter, Tijana Spasic, and Mathew Bowen.
The rAiz’n Ensemble – Creators
The 2012-2014 b current rAiz’n Ensemble is comprised of 7 emerging artists including actors, singers, visual artists, and playwrights. Nice, their first collectively created piece, is being developed under the guidance of Djennie Laguerre. rAiz’n members’ personal experiences are used as the play’s jumping off points to explore what being nice often really means both here and abroad.
Eating Pomegranates Naked
Written by Andrea Scott
Synopsis: We’re only as safe as our secrets. Five friends at a dinner party learn more than they were in for when one of them opens a door that should have remained shut.
Featuring Cherissa Richards, Dienye Waboso, and Conor Green.
Andrea Scott – Playwright
Andrea has worked in theatre for the last fifteen years. Theatre credits include who knew grannie: a dub aria, The Remarkable Flight of Marnie McPhee, for coloured girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, and Omnium Gatherum. She has performed at Canadian Stage, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Factory Theatre, and b current. As a playwright, Andrea presented staged readings of Damaged at the last two rock.paper.sistahz Festivals, and just had a staged reading of Eating Pomegranates Naked at the New Ideas Festival.
Thursday, May 10 at 8PM
Getting to Heart
Written by Najla Edwards
Synopsis: A young woman’s emotions and experiences take on personalities of their own. Nearing an inability to accept love from others, she must face the catalyst of her fear of self-love.
Featuring Najla Edwards, Angelique Lazarus, and Kanika Ambrose.
Najla Edwards – Playwright
As a multi-dimensional storyteller, she fuses experience, culture, art and spiritually to explore intimate sharing of Herstories too often ignored and hidden. Najla’s past performances include a co-written production of 3 dollars and 6 dimes (Aluna Theatre), performing in Goin4broke by Edwige Jean-Pierre (b current presentation in LuminaTO Festival 2011), and Obeah Opera (b current & Theatre Archipelago) as a chorus member. She is currently a member of the b current rAiz’n Ensemble.
A Face Like Mine
Written & directed by Asanda Phewa
Featuring Gabriel Marchand, Asanda Phewa, Lesoko V. Seabe, and Joe van der Linden.
Synopsis: This piece is not shy of getting extremely intimate as it delves into the highly complex question of what makes up culture and identity; it is a lyrical and honest look at how women dress up self worth. It explores the many fragmented perceptions young Black women have of themselves.
Asanda Phewa – Playwright & Director
A graduate of the UCT Drama Department and recipient of the 2008 Prof. Mavis Taylor Memorial Award for best theatre-maker, Asanda was awarded an internship with the Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep De Appel, where she performed Insomnia. She assisted Lara Foot on partly god (Jazzart), and has directed Reclaiming the P Word, Scars (Jazzart and Breakthru Entertainment), and Enter the Maids: an interjection of Jean Genet’s The Maids. She was recently awarded the GIPCA, Baxter Theatre Centre, Theatre Arts Admin Collective Emerging Director’s Bursary. A Face Like Mine premiered in the Netherlands and the UK through the Afrovibes Festival.
Written by Mason Haigh
Directed by Wendi Smallwood
Synopsis: With a cast of 7, Keeping Mum is a fresh, urban comedy about motherhood. It reflects and celebrates the diversity of Canada by humourously weaving together the immigrant experience and its effect on two generations.
Mason Haigh – Playwright
Mason wrote, directed, and produced Act I of Mum’s the Word (Keeping Mum’s former title) as part of rock.paper.sistahz 9. As a TV Writer/Producer she wrote an episode of ‘da Kink In My Hair. She also wrote the script for one of the 12 semi-finalists of CBC’s Daytime Project competition: Wilbo Entertainment’s soap opera, Power and Pride. She was the Writer and Consulting Producer of the pilot episode of The Kois, which in 2009 was nominated for three Rosie Awards by the Alberta Motion Pictures Industry Association for “Best Drama Under 60”. Mason also wrote Sleeping Dogs Lie, a short dramedy shown at six North American festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival in Los Angeles and the ReelWorld Film Festival in Toronto.
Wendi Smallwood – Director
A theatre artist with over 30 years experience Wendi is an actor, producer, writer, director, and the artistic director of her own company, Inzane Productions. Wendi’s directorial debut was at the 1997 Toronto Fringe Festival with The Clothesline. As a Director, she is re-establishing herself in St. John’s, Newfoundland with a new theatre company, SWFT (St. John’s Women’s Festival of Theatre) which recently debuted with Margaret Edson’s play, W;t. at the RCA theatre. As both Artistic Director and Producer of SWFT, she is setting the stage for a women’s themed theatre festival in 2013.